Last Argument of Kings

March 15th, 2008

Gather round, my friends, for I have great news! Fans of edgy yet humorous yet action-packed yet deeply inventive and moving fantasy fiction rejoice! I note that Last Argument of Kings is now shipping from At the time of writing it resides in fact, at an sales rank of 12. 1200? No. 120? No. 12. In fantasy? No. In fiction? No. 12, in all books. It is, for this glorious hour at least, amazon uk’s 12th highest selling book. It may also be found in the foremost bookshops of the land, though at this stage probably on trolleys in their stock rooms, rather than actually on the shelves.

What’s that? You need more of me basking in self-aggrandisement? I am to be found discussing the book at the Genre Files, along with such issues as my response to negative criticism (I float effortlessly above it, don’t you know).

Fortunately, no such floating will be necessary with regard to my review in March’s edition of Death Ray, who have rewarded me the bare acceptable minimum of 4.5 stars. Admittedly, they called it “The Last Argument of Kings.” There is no “The”, but I’m pretty sure it is my book they’re talking about:

“Abercrombie is a fantasy writer who can really write. No, really. As with the previous two books, Last Argument of Kings is tightly plotted, has wit and style to spare, and in the barbarian Logen and the Inquisitor Glokta it has two of the best fantasy creations of recent years … Forget the sterile battles of modern fantasy: here we have brutal medieval realism in which bloody teeth fly and guts are clutched at in one of the most heroic sieges since Helm’s Deep.”

Mmmmmm, bloody teeth. There’s an interview in March’s SFX, also, with a full page picture of me, debonairely let challengingly leaning against a whitewashed wall, as I often am to be found doing. They’ve also managed to paint out all my boils and photoshop my missing eye back in. Amazing, what they can do these days. Aidan at A Dribble of Ink has had the honour and privilege of reading the book in advance, and you know what? He kinda liked it:

“Last Argument of Kings is without a doubt the strongest novel in the cycle and, indeed, one of the strongest finishes to a trilogy I’ve come across in a long time. It’s refreshing to find an author who can not only finish a story in three books (a rarity in the fantasy genre these days, it seems) but to also do so in a satisfying manner … The First Law ends much as it begins: raw, gritty and full of humanity.”

Care to put a number on it, Aidan?

“I decided I wouldn’t attach numerical values to my reviews, but if I were to thrust such an arbitrary label upon Last Argument of Kings, it would probably look much like a 9.9/10”

Someone, somewhere, is taking the piss. In all seriousness, the response to the book so far has been extremely gratifying. Numerical ratings are essentially tosh, of course, but (since you ask) the ratings for Last Argument of Kings from blogs and magazines so far have been: 4.5 stars, 4.5 stars, 5 stars, 9.5/10, 9.75/10, 9.75/10, and 9.9/10. Oh, and 8 from Pat, though he shall pay for that slur upon mine honour, oh yes, he shall pay. You can find some details from those reviews here, should you not quite be convinced.

Probably you want to find out what all the fuss is about, hmmmmm?

Now you can, my friends, now you can…

Posted in announcements, interviews, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on March 15th, 2008.

27 comments so far

  • Maria says:

    Your order has dispatched

    And I’m waiting…

    Hey, and there will be The Blade Itself translated in Finnish later this year too. I hope the translation do you text justice.

  • Elena says:

    Just ordered it. Can’t wait to read it. Now if I could just find out what I paid… I’m not that bad at math, mind, but my checkbook sometimes does end up balanced just. that. closely. You’re worth it, though. πŸ™‚

  • James says:

    That’s brilliant news Joe! Congrats! I actually picked up the issue of SFX at the train station, and was sneakily going to have a quick read before, er, putting the magazine back on the shelf. But after feeling hugely guilty, I parted with four of her majesty’s finest pounds.

    Well, actually it was because my train was about to leave and I hadn’t finished reading the interview, rather than any real guilt. Still, nobody’s perfect, eh?

    Good stuff though. Nice photo too. Maybe I’ll frame it and hang it above my bed…

  • Anonymous says:

    To me, the sign of a great author or series is that you avidly scan the news for signs of a new novel. And then you devour the thing in one or two sittings. The late great David Gemmell was one such author, but of late there are some really great new authors that have appeared, yourself, Scott Lynch and James Barclay to name but a few and this is great for us readers. So enjoy the applause -you deserve it!!

  • Dave Ellis says:

    I wandered into Waterstones today and there it was on the 3 for 2 pile. The good news is I bought it…the bad news is I’m still reading Un Lun Dun so prob won’t actually get to read it for a day or two.

    Still…fantastic series Joe, only picked up The Blade Itself just before Christmas but I’m addicted already. Thank you for filling the hole Gemmell’s death left.

  • Yep, it’s on sale here in sunny Galway as well.

    Congrats on the success of the book, Joe. When it comes to determining the Best Epic Fantasy Novel of 2008 it’s a two-horse race between you and Paul Kearney (out of the books I’ve read so far, obviously), or a three-horse one if GRRM gets ADWD out in time.

    I did have Morgan up there as well but the previews are making me ponder if that’s going to end up being the case…

  • Maria,
    Any second now…

    Cheap at any price.

    Maybe above the toilet instead.

    I do, I do. Enjoy it, that is, not deserve it.

    Dave Ellis,
    Bad news for YOU that you won’t get to read it for a couple of days. As long as you buy it, that’s the main thing…

    Kearney? GRR Who? Never heard of ’em! I think the thing with Morgan’s book – one, it will definitely heavily split opinion for all kinds of reasons, and two, one is left wondering whether it really is epic fantasy in any meaningful sense. It’s quite an outlier.

  • THE-VLG says:

    ok ok I haven’t actually ordered it yet but I will very soon, I just have to get a few books together to include in the complete order as amazon will be charging me postage…I have however added it to my wish list (ohh & how I wish!) also you may be interested to know, although I doubt it, why would you be interested in the doings of a complete – & possibly unhinged – stranger I hear you think (I really do hear you think) well because I have also added a book titled Best Served Cold to my wishing list….

  • Jared says:

    I’m going to be very upset if they’re already sold out of the first printing at Forbidden Planet on Thursday… I’ve been waiting so dutifully!

  • Tom Lloyd says:

    Not that I’m hugely jealous or anything, but it’s at no 9 this morning!


  • the vlg,
    if you hear me think, I have no need to reply.

    I’m pretty sure they’ll have some there waiting to be signed.

    “Every time a friend succeeds, a little part of me dies.” Gore Vidal – a motto I try and live my life by.

  • Tom Lloyd says:

    Sure, ya think it’s funny now with your bestseller and international acclaim rubbish, you wait till eastercon when me an’ Dave give you a kicking for it… Clearly Dave will be doing most of that of course.

    Remaindered copies at ten paces, who’s laughing now eh? ;0)

    Congrats boyo, a very fine book and much deserved success! I mean it about the kicking though, we’re small minded people.

  • The question we must ask ourselves: can it possibly be coincidence that Last Argument has charted highly and it is the first book in the series with my blurb at the top of the Amazon page?


  • Icarium says:

    Huge fan Joe and i cant wait to get my hands on the book. Ordering from, the shipping is actually costing me more than the book itself… just hope it gets here asap

  • percy says:

    well mine arrived today from amazon! i had preordered it last july i think, so i missed out on the latest fantabulous price, but i dont mind.

    looking forward to getting stuck in..


  • Top news, Joe! I found out that my nearsest book shop, which is about 30miles away, had Last Argument in stock yesterday. While I was working I was suddenly struck by a strange, rare and deadly strain of havetogetthebookrightnow-itis. With a sicky successfully pulled, I embarked on the 60 mile round trip, managed to spread the good word of Abercrombie around the Exeter Waterstones, broke lots of speed limits to make it back home. I’ve not finished it yet, sleep, the need to eat and to converse with words rather than grunts eventually got the better of me…suffice to say, so far, so brilliant.

  • Beefeater says:

    On sale in the Waterstones in the City (just off Leadenhall market) now. One fewer copy on the shelves.

    Not in the 3/2 pile here – constantly surprising to me is how many city boys there always are browsing the fantasy and sci-fi section. I thought the genre was supposed to stop you getting a proper job. Assuming ours are proper jobs that is.

  • innokenti says:

    I managed to helpfully leave the country on the day it appeared in the shops.

    Never fear, I shall return in a fortnight and it shall be waiting for me thanks to Mssrs. Amazon and Co.

    Look forward to reading the great triumph that it no doubt it.


  • Tom,
    I always enjoy a good kicking.

    I owe it all to you.

    Worth every penny. but you can save on shipping if you buy four copies at the same time.

    Percy, Tommy, Beefeater, Innokenti,
    Glad to see you’re all getting stuck in. Let me know what you reckon.

  • Beefeater says:

    Just finished.

    Crikey, it’s impressive, and bleak. You’re an evil, evil author (in the best possible way). What have your poor characters ever done to you? Anyway, awesomely good book and a fine ending to the series.

    Looking forward to the next outing. Day 1 purchase, naturally – we need more like this.

  • l.welton says:

    Its now 5th on amazon and I’m yet to get my copy! Would be nice to know if it outsells the previous books (which should be a bit hard given its a trilogy but its a strange world lol).

  • Anonymous says:

    No 16 on March 25–I’m reading Hanged right now, really enjoying it as I enjoyed the first book…. Congratulations on the success!

  • One of the most beautifully written series I have ever read… and one of the most anti-climactic endings. I am depressed. But I do urge you to write more! Cheers

  • Martin says:


    LAoK, was as stated in my opening, amazing. I loved it. Which of course leads to wanting more. The characters in this jewel are some of my favorites. This again, leaves a lasting desire to continue following them along their journeys. Thank you Joe.

    PS When are you “Coming to America” for book signings, preferably Denver, CO πŸ™‚

    PSS May we have a map of the circle of earth please.

  • Anonymous says:

    Btw, is the hardback edition of LAoK already sold out? Or are they taking reprints in the near future?

  • Anon,
    They only do a relatively small harback run for libraries and collectors – the trade paperback gets reprinted, but not the hardback. Sorry…

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